School Blog

My Experience in Reading - Gerlinde Hillenbrand

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Traveling to Great Britain alone and arriving in a foreign region did not challenge me that much. I love to explore new places and get to know new people, but staying here for a long time should get harder than I first thought. In the beginning I was excited about everything - my new room, my new family, every single nice place I spotted. And of course I kept loving my time here and all the experiences I gathered, but I started to feel a little bit lonely from time to time. Never ever did I imagine that! It is more difficult to speak another language than I expected. Of course I have known that I will enrich my vocabulary and that I will get used to informal speaking as well. Everything just takes its time. But when I was talking, I always felt like only scratching the surfaces although I wanted to have profound/deep conversations. Maybe it sounds strange to you, but maybe you can relate to this. I always understood what conversations were about but I sometimes did not get the whole message. And it was really frustrating for me! There were little misunderstandings and sometimes even whole sentences I did not understood at all. Moreover it was hard for me to express my thoughts and all the things that were in my mind. I wanted somebody to understand me, I wanted to feel included in the British social life, I wanted to understand every single word... and just maybe I put too much pressure on myself! So if you belong to the people who can relate to me - look forward! Do not feel like you have to be perfect right from the start. Keep learning and never be afraid of making mistakes. You will get used to speak English and suddenly it will feel like a bed of roses. And there are definitely things that can help you to achieve your goal. I am for example really happy to take lessons in The English Language Centre - and that is literally one thing I can only recommend: take part in language courses even when you do not need a certificate! Not only can I improve my style of speaking in school, but also I can make new friends who are in the same situation as me. Thanks to the school I have the opportunity to hear about many things and events that take place in Reading. I am so grateful for that. At attractions like the vegan street market or the Red Kangaroo trampoline park I always met nice people who were talking kind of slowly with me and were interested in my background. In addition it feels so good to meet people from other countries, to learn together with them and to learn new things about them. Slowly but surely I am starting to feel at home here in the UK. And even though I know I will go back home in half a year, I want to enjoy every moment here, improve my English skills and leave with as many great experiences as possible. To put it all in a nutshell I found out that it is not easy to settle down in another country, but also I asserted that it is not impossible! And Reading is definitely a fantastic town for taking roots with its lovely and not crowded town centre surrounded by a beautiful rural landscape. Besides there is also a super good train connection to Oxford and London - if you feel like exploring a bigger city! (;

All the best to you from a nine-teen-years-old girl from Germany who is currently working as an Au Pair in a village close to Reading.

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